Disney's Trying to Help Make Video Games More Interactive

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The video above is a demo of Disney Research Center's work into creating true interactivity in video games.  A recently released paper from the center describes what they're doing:

We want interactive narratives to be an immersive experience in which users can influence the action or even create a storyline, but the complexity of the authoring task has worked against our ambitions. Our method of modeling multiple story arcs and resolving conflicts in the storylines makes it feasible to author interactive experiences that are free form, rather than constricted.


Most games suffer from limitations to interactivty that mean a story arc can only have a certain number of outcomes before creating them becomes too complex.  Disney Research is trying to eliminate those limitations using interactive behavior trees (IBT) that keep track of user interactions and fill in inconsistency gaps so that creators don't have to: "These automated tools empower the author to focus on storytelling, rather than worry about resolving every possible conflict as the many story arcs intersect."  In the example shown in the video demo, if one bear is supposed to throw the ball to the other, but doesn't have a ball to throw, the IBT lets the bear retreive one without the creator having to specify that action taking place.  Pretty neat!

If you're interested, take a look at the paper here.

PlayStation Now's Got inFAMOUS 2 for March

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New streaming gameson PlayStation Now for March 2015 include inFAMOUS 2, Twisted Metal, R-Type Dimensions, Alone in the Dark: Inferno, and Operation Flashpoint: Red River.

HTC and Valve Teaming Up for a New VR Headset, HTC RE Vive

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A developer version of HTC's new headset, powered by SteamVR, will be out some time this spring, and the retail version is due out for the holiday season of this year.

From the official site:

THE VISUALS
A 1,200 by 1,080 pixel screen in front of each eye, with refresh rates of a blistering 90 frames per second, displays photorealistic imagery that fills your field of vision in all directions, eliminating the jitter common to previous VR technologies and transporting you to another world.
THE AUDIO
Plug your favorite set of headphones into a jack located on the side of the Developer Edition headset.
TRACKING AND ROOM SCALE
A gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor combine to precisely track the rotation of your head on both axes to an accuracy of 1/10th of a degree, allowing you to look around the virtual environment naturally. Couple the headset with a pair of Steam VR base stations to track your physical location (in spaces up to 15 feet by 15 feet) – get up and walk around inisde the virtual world!
CUSTOM GAME CONTROLLER
Ergonomic VR game controllers in each hand allow you to use virtual objects and interact with the virtual world. The position of each controller is tracked in space, allowing developers to simulate a wide range of activities and interactions.



Oh My God You Can be A Giant Cucco in Hyrule Warriors

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YouTuber moccos-tan Isedelica achieved this epic feat by getting a level 3 S-rank with Beast Ganon.

The final Hyrule Warriors DLC, which will allow you to unleash chicken hell on your enemies, will arrive in the US on March 12.

Fable Legends is Free to Play On Windows 10 and Xbox One

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Fable Legends will be totally free to play, with the option to purchase in game gold with human monies.  The announcement stresses that you won't need that real gold to win; all content in the game will be accessible for free, and you won't be able to 'pay to win' by buying upgrades that are unavailable without real money.  Everything that affects gameplay will be earnable within the game.  

There's no release date yet set for the game, but there's a good chance it'll come out alongside Windows 10 later this year.

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